HMAS Albatross shows passion for Reconciliation with book drive for preschoolers

by Freya Lucas

June 02, 2020

Personnel from the HMAS Albatross, home of the Royal Australian Navy’s Fleet Air Arm in Nowra, New South Wales, have shown their support for National Reconciliation Week by organising a book drive for Boori Preschool in West Nowra. 

 

Typically the base marks National Reconciliation Week by hosting and joining in with a number of community events throughout the Shoalhaven, however this year COVID-19 restrictions have prevented them from doing so, local news source South Coast Register said

 

Thinking outside the box, and embracing the 2020 theme of “in this together” the team came up with a way to engage with the local community, give something back, and take part in measures designed to further reconciliation in Australia. 

 

Albatross Community Engagement Officer, CPO Linda Eddington told South Coast Register that 2020 was “a very important year for reconciliation”, being the 20th anniversary of the reconciliation walks, where many Australians came together to walk on bridges and roads to show their support for the reconciliation movement. 

 

It was this symbolism which gave her the inspiration to find ways in which the Albatross representatives could abide by social distancing restrictions while still “building bridges” and connections with the local community. 

 

Boori Preschool located “just down the road” from the base, has a strong focus on supporting children to deepen their connections with culture and strengthen their sense of belonging. 

 

Setting an original target of one book donated for each of the 28 children using the service, CPO Eddington said her office quickly began to resemble a library as more and more personnel dropped off their books to support the move. 

 

While many of the books donated were familiar favourites, the exercise of choosing books also opened the eyes of the personnel to new works such as Welcome to Country by Aunty Joy Murphy, and Tell ‘Em, written by Katrina Germein and Rosemary Sullivan with the children of Manyallaluk School in the Northern Territory. 

 

To read the original coverage of this story please see here

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